Suspect apprehended in motel killing

Published 10:25 pm Friday, September 11, 2015

A Warren County man was dead and another was apprehended Friday night after an apparent gang-related homicide at a Vicksburg motel.

Richard May Jr. was fatally shot inside Battlefield Inn, 4137 N. Frontage Road, shortly before 9:30 p.m. Friday, Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said.

Around 1:30 a.m., the Vicksburg Police Department arrested Jimmy Dale Reid in the fatal shooting, Armstrong said.

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Reid was recently released from prison on parole, Armstrong said.

“He’s spent an excessive amount of time in the penitentiary,” Armstrong said.

Mississippi Department of Corrections records show Reid is on parole for two counts of fleeing a law enforcement officer.

The two men and several others were apparently arguing in a hotel room in the almost vacant motel Friday. The exact motive of the shooting was unclear Friday.

“It appears all the parties knew each other. Something definitely got out of control,” Armstrong said.

At least some of the people involved in the fight and subsequent shooting are believed to members of the Simon City Royals, Armstrong said.

“We haven’t determined exactly who was part of Simon City Royals,” Armstrong said.

People involved in the arguments had rented two motel rooms, and at least two eye witnesses were detained by police for questioning Friday. Two weapons were recovered, and methamphetamine was seized from both motel rooms, Armstrong said.

“It appears there was a lot of drug activity going on by way of crystal methamphetamine,” Armstrong said.

Hotel representatives declined to comment and asked a reporter to leave the motel property. Family members began showing up about 11:30 p.m. but gathered in an area that was off limits to the public.

In May, the Hattiesburg American reported that intelligence from police in South Mississippi showed the gang was growing.

A 2010 state gang assessment documented more than 1,200 Royals in the state with a little more than 40 percent found along the coast. By 2014, the number of Royals statewide grew to nearly 2,000, including 281 in Biloxi, according to Biloxi police.

The homicide is the sixth reported this year in Vicksburg. No homicides have been reported in Warren County.